CRESTVIEW — A nonprofit with over 15 years of service to the Crestview community is bringing its prolific work to an end.
The Friends of the Crestview Library reportedly spent over $29,000 on books and equipment for its namesake, as well as book purchases for North Okaloosa schools. Some of the books have been gifts students can take home. The money stemmed from its twice-a-year book sales — which over the years became a Crestview tradition and provided up to $6,000 a year for the library — and reserved donations.
Friends president Lucy Smith said the group had their last meeting Sept. 21.
What caused the closure?
"A lack of participation. No one wanted to step up and be an officer. Without officers you cannot run an organization," Smith said.
The group had some dedicated volunteers, but without officers and declining membership, the nonprofit no longer qualifies for 501(c)(3) status.
"The board made a lot of decisions: that's why without officers, the board can't operate,” Smith said. “You can't operate a business or an organization of any kind … It's a lot of work. There's no getting around that.”
Despite disbandment, the Friends’ members still serve the library individually and each hopes to reorganize later, as they have heard from several people interested in maintaining the group, according to Smith and the group's former treasurer, Bonny Crews.
"We hope to become active as a group again when there are enough people to serve on the board," Crews said.